Arizona reports nearly 2,000 COVID-19 cases, 22 deaths
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona on Friday reported nearly 2,000 additional known COVID-19 cases as the coronavirus outbreak continued to intensify.
The state Department of Health Services reported 1,996 additional cases with 22 deaths, increasing the state’s totals to 254,764 cases and 6,109 deaths.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
Arizona was a national hot spot in June and July. But conditions improved in August and most of September before COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations began to gradually increase, a trend that continued throughout October and into November.
COVID-19-related hospitalizations remain far below peak summer levels but topped 1,000 on Tuesday for the first time since late August. They stood at 1,082 as of Thursday.
State officials on Friday continued to urge Arizonans to heed health advice to wear masks, wash hands and socially distance.
State officials have said the outbreak is getting worse in the wake of partial reopenings of schools and businesses and that more spread is expected in the coming weeks due to social gatherings, including family get-togethers for Thanksgiving.
According to Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by The Associated Press, rolling seven-day averages for Arizona for new daily cases, daily deaths and testing positivity increased over the past two weeks,
The rolling average for daily new cases went from 880 on Oct. 22 to 1,470 on Thursday while the average for daily deaths rose from 10 to 24 and the average for testing positivity grew from 9.1% to 12.7%.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.